Two weeks after Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau said 1,250 people with ties to Canada remain in Afghanistan, a government source puts the current number even higher, at around 1,280.
A source that breaks down the speaking background includes approximately 440 Canadian citizens, 260 permanent residents, and approximately 580 family members, which together represent approximately 240 family groups.
The information comes a day after Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said in an interview with Granthshala BC, “We excluded all Canadians.”
Granthshala News reported Tuesday morning in Richmond, BC. asked Trudeau at a press conference to clarify about that remark
Trudeau clarified that he was actually referring to “diplomatic and consular staff”.
“We know there are still many Canadians in Afghanistan… we are working with our partners and partners like Qataris to get them out on flights from Kabul or even neighboring partners like Pakistan. to work with Canadians to get Canadians out of Afghanistan, Trudeau said.
He stressed that the government would continue to work to evacuate all Canadians, as well as welcome a total of 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada.
He declined to provide any details about how many Canadians were left behind, or about any future flights.
Later on Tuesday, Granthshala Affairs Canada told Granthshala News that as of Monday, 942 Canadian citizens, permanent residents of family members, had left Afghanistan. That number includes 441 citizens, 147 permanent residents and 354 family members.
“We will not stop before we evacuate the remaining Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families and vulnerable Afghans who support our work in Afghanistan,” wrote spokeswoman Christelle Chartrand.
Since US and foreign forces departed Afghanistan on August 31, two flights have departed Kabul with Canadians. One carrying 200 foreigners, including 43 Canadians, took off from Kabul for Doha on 9 September. A second flight, organized by Qatar, took off on 10 September carrying 10 Canadians.
That day, a government source told Granthshala News that 1,290 people with ties to Canada were still in the country.
The numbers are expected to fluctuate as enrollment in the Canada Foreign Program registration is voluntary.
Those two flights represented the first mass departure since August 31.
Since the Taliban gained control of the country on August 15, Canada has helped evacuate 3,700 people, while the US and its allies have helped evacuate more than 123,000 people in two weeks.
The Liberal government has been criticized for swiftly evacuating people. The theme of Afghanistan has been featured heavily for the first few weeks of the federal election campaign, and continues to hit the mark.